Spend enough time in academia and you'll find your office cluttered with those tchockes that kindhearted souls sometimes give to thank you for some kindness, to bribe you, or to bid you good riddance as they depart. The ledge around my windowsill features -- in addition to a Tiny Shriner -- a soap shaped like a shell, a soap with a picture of a moose, two gargoyles, a mug, a small skull, a stack of postcards, some bookends fashioned from polished chunks of blue stone, a Kenyan antelope, a tea box from India, and a tiki idol. Several of these items are gifts from former students; others are payback from colleagues whose travel authorization forms I signed. Today, though, I received an offering that is now my all time favorite: a plastic container filled with Grendel gingerbread men. Yes, one is arm has been lopped off each. You can glimpse
Here's hoping your grading is going well, and that offerings that bring great cheer are likewise wending your way.